Crime

Oregon man indicted in international ‘romance scams'

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) - A Lebanon man was indicted by a federal grand jury in Eugene for allegedly defrauding at least 3 people out of thousands of dollars in online romance scams.

Rodney Paul Gregory faces 3 counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering related to a scheme that began in May 2017 and continued through this month, court documents revealed.

Read the Grand Jury indictment at the bottom of this article

How it worked

Gregory and "unknown co-conspirators" would target people through online dating sites and different romance scams. The indictment said the co-conspirators would impersonate people working overseas -- either military or civilians -- and pretend to need money to help with foreign taxes, travel or other items.

"At the present time I have no knowledge of any charges or anything being filed. I have no comment on anything." -- Rodney Paul Gregory to KOIN 6 News

 

The victims would transfer the money, and -- federal prosecutors say -- Gregory incorporated companies and opened business bank accounts to get the wired money from the victims.

Investigators say once Gregory had the money in his US accounts he would wire the money to overseas bank accounts, including the Agricultural Bank of China, Banner Bank, Red Canoe Credit Union, and Maps Credit Union.

Court documents showed between May 11, 2017 and August 31, 2017, Gregory either transferred or withdrew more than $200,000.

In May 2017, federal agents met with Gregory to ask him about the scheme. Gregory claimed that he would receive instructions regarding setting up bank accounts and companies from a woman he met through an online dating website. 

Agents told Gregory his actions could constitute wire fraud and money laundering. He supposedly said he understood. But agents said Gregory continued the scheme even after their warning.  

"At the present time I have no knowledge of any charges or anything being filed,” Gregory told KOIN 6 News.  “I have no comment on anything."

 

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